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NCJ Number: 65841 Find in a Library
Title: SOCIAL WORKERS AND THE JUDGES' RULES
Journal: JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WELFARE LAW  Issue:3  Dated:(1979)  Pages:155-161
Author(s): P SMITH
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: JUDICIAL PROBLEMS OF INTERPRETING RULES GOVERNING THE ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE, COMBINED WITH ROUTINE PATTERNS OF POLICE WORK, CREATE EXTRA PROBLEMS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS AIDING CLIENTS IN COURT.
Abstract: IN ENGLAND AND WALES, PERSONS SUSPECTED OF HAVING COMMITTED OFFENSES MAY BE QUESTIONED BY THE POLICE UP TO THE POINT THAT THEY ARE CHARGED OR TOLD THAT THEY WILL BE CHARGED. THERE IS NO PERSON OF A JUDICIAL OR QUASI-JUDICIAL CHARACTER TO CONDUCT THIS INTERROGATION OR WHO SUPERVISES OR CONTROLS POLICE QUESTIONING. THE INDIVIDUAL IS PROTECTED BY THE LAW IN THAT A CONFESSION IS INADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE UNLESS IT IS 'VOLUNTARY,' ALSO, THE JUDGES' RULES AND HOME OFFICE ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIONS PROTECT THESE INDIVIDUALS. FURTHERMORE, JUVENILES CAN BE INTERVIEWED ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF A PARENT OR GUARDIAN OR SOMEONE OTHER THAN A POLICE OFFICER. MENTALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PROFESSIONAL IN THE FIELD WHENEVER THEY ARE INTERVIEWED. SOLICITOR ACCESS IS GRANTED AT ANY TIME SO LONG AS IT DOES NOT HINDER THE PROCESSES OF JUSTICE. A MAJOR FINDING OF CARDIFF-BASED RESEARCH IS THAT POLICE OFFICERS DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE RULES THAT CALL FOR INFORMING A SUSPECT OF THEIR RIGHTS TO SEE A SOLICITOR AND TO REMAIN SILENT. YET IT IS ARGUABLY UNREALISTIC TO EXPECT THOSE WHOSE TASK IS THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF CRIME TO PROVIDE RIGHTS INFORMATION SERVICES FOR DETAINEES. INEVITABLY POLICE OFFICERS SEE SUCH PROVISIONS AS A HINDRANCE TO THEIR TASK OF CRIME CONTROL AND TO THE ORGANIZATIONAL IMPERATIVES. THUS SEVERAL BRITISH COMMISSIONS HAVE RECOMMENDED THAT CONFESSIONS MADE UNDER THREAT OR INDUCEMENT SHOULD BE INADMISSIBLE ONLY IF THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE RENDERED UNRELIABLE IN CONSEQUENCE AND THAT THE ACCUSED'S SILENCE DURING INTERROGATION SHOULD BE THE SUBJECT OF INFERENCES BY THE COURT OR JURY AS SEEMS PROPER. OVERALL, BETTER TRAINING FOR SOCIAL WORKERS SHOULD ALERT THESE PERSONS TO THE PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE RULES AND RIGHTS THROUGH A CLEARER UNDERSTANDING OF THE LIMITATIONS OF JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): England; Right against self incrimination; Rights of minors; Rights of the accused; Rules of evidence; Wales
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65841

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